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KC Star Disputes Talent Ad

By Frank Morris

Kansas City – Senator Jim Talent's campaign for reelection has been running TV spots which appear to attribute biting criticism of his opponent State Auditor Clair McCaskill to the Kansas City Star. The Star says the ads are misleading and wants them off the air. KCUR's Frank Morris reports.

The ads flash quotes like Spreading Untruths and Exaggerating, above the Kansas City Star's logo. The nonpartisan election watch dog group Fact Check.org saw the adds and decided they make it look like the quotes are coming from the Star's editorial staff. They're not. The quotes from McCaskill opponents sighted in Star news stories. Talent's campaign says that if the attribution is misleading, that's a mistake. Miriam Pepper, the Star's Editorial Page Editor isn't buying it.

They're doing it for a purpose, the news origination lends credibility to these charges. And that's what we object to, that our credibility shouldn't be sullied by adds that misconstrue who said what.

Pepper says a member of Lloyd Smith from Talent's staff told her they would fix the adds, but says she's still hearing complaints from viewers who've just sent them.
The Talent campaign did not return calls from KCUR for this story.

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